‘Serious’ nuclear incident in Finland but no radiation leak

Finland’s nuclear safety authority STUK on Thursday said that radiation levels had risen following an incident at the Olkiluoto 2 nuclear unit in western Finland, but added there was no radioactivity leakage outside and the situation was under control.

“There are no indications of a fuel leak from the incident and there are no longer any exceptional radiation levels inside the plant”, STUK said in a statement.

Authorities said that the elevated readings stemmed from a room regularly showing higher values during normal operations, and no power company employees had been exposed to radiation or were injured.

Tomi Routamo, deputy director at the STUK, said that “no such event has happened in Finland before”, but added that “the situation is stable and the plant is safe”.

Plant operator TVO said an automatic reactor shutdown, or “scram”, was triggered and that there is “no harm anywhere”. It added that it was investigating the cause of the radiation spike, which may have originated from contaminated filter material reaching the coolant system.

“This is a significant and an exceptional incident and we consider it important to spread correct information about it,” Finland’s minister of social affairs and health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement it had been informed of the incident and was in contact with Finnish authorities.

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